Northampton – August 8th 2009 Meeting Report

Photo Colin Casserley

Photo Colin Casserley

A warm, sunny evening at NIR, and with 30 cars in the pits, the organisers wisely opted to run an ‘all in’ format on this occasion.

Heat one gridded 29 car, with 8 star graders and a bumper turnout of 12 whites hoping to make a mark on the meeting – which they most certainly did. Ian Brickley led the field away, and it was immediately evident that the 246 car was well on the pace, and would take some catching. Danny Wainman (212) and  Craig Finnikin (55) were the first stars to make an impression, with Junior Wainman (515) hot on their heels.

Half distance saw the 246 car in a commanding lead, with 515 now leading the star grade charge in 6th place. Over the closing laps, the 515 car moved through to second place, but the 246 car was away and gone for a popular victory. A last bend tangle relegated the 515 car to third place, with Dave Hopkins (447) coming home in second spot.

Twenty six cars for heat two, including a first run for a late arriving Mark Kiff  (211) and with all 8 star graders back on track. Again, Ian Brickley (246) led the field away, and, in what looked like a re-run of Heat 1, the 246 car soon had a commanding lead, with 515 leading the race to hunt down the 246 car.

Yellow flags mid race did little to dent the confidence of the leader, who went on to secure a second victory in fine style, from 515 and 447. Some way behind the lead group, a great tussle for 6th place involving cars 16, 434, 97 and 498, was resolved in favour of rising star Spencer Taylor (498) after some great bumper work by the Yellow graded driver.

Race three saw 25 cars on track for the designated ‘Final’ race. Following his earlier success, the Ian Brickley (246) car was relegated to the rear of the white top pack, with Adam Bamford (143) and Dave Plumbley (393) now making up the front row of the grid. The 393 car was immediately into the lead, only for the race to be yellow, and then red flagged with the Wesley Goodwin (295) car stopped in a dangerous position. On the complete restart, the 393 machine was again off into the lead, with 246 back up to 5th at the end of the first lap, and Paul Hines (259) leading the star grade charge on this occasion.

Next into the lead was a highly impressive Gareth Wildman (429) in only his first F1 meeting, and at half distance, the Rushden based white top was well clear of 246, with 515 now heading the chasing pack in 5th place.

At five to go, with Brickley about to be swallowed by a star grade train of 515,55 and 259, Wildman remained comfortably ahead and indeed the ex F2 driver reeled off the remaining laps without drama to take a great debut win ‘on the road’ from 515, 55, and 259. Unfortunately, the moment was short lived, with the 429 car subsequently failing post race scrutineering, and the record books will show yet another final victory for Junior Wainman.  Post race, Wainman made it quite clear he took no pleasure in being gifted a Final win under such circumstances.

The Grand National race rounded off the meeting, with 17 cars taking the start, and designated final ‘winner’ 515 electing not to take the 1 lap handicap.  Dave Plumbley (393) was again first to show, but was unable to survive two yellow flag periods to remove damaged cars, and the race soon developed into a star grade dash to the line, lead by a flying Paul Hines in the 259 car. A very substantial oil spill in turn three made the last few lap rather interesting, with 515 seeming suffering most – a half spin dropping the Silsden driver down the order. Up front, the star men adapted and took a wide line around the oil, with an uncatchable 259 taking a popular victory from 434, 55 and 212.

C Turnbull

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